Microsoft has confirmed that its Surface tablets will launch on October 26th — the same day that Windows 8 will also launch. ”The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012,” the company said in a statement filed with the SEC. “At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices.”
As CNET points out, however, Microsoft doesn’t appear very bullish about its next operating system. In the same document, the company had this to say:
[Window 8's] success depends on a number of factors including the extent to which customers embrace its new user interface and functionality, successfully coordinating with our OEM partners in releasing a variety of hardware devices that take advantage of its features, and attracting developers at scale to ensure a competitive array of quality applications. We expect to incur substantial marketing costs in launching Window 8 and associated services and devices, which may reduce our operating margins.
Microsoft still hasn’t revealed pricing for its Surface tablets, but a recent leak on a Swedish website suggested the less-powerful Windows RT tablet, which runs on an ARM processor, could cost as much as $1,000. To be clear, we don’t think it will actually land at that price point. Instead, we expect Microsoft’s more powerful Windows 8 tablets to fall in around or slightly below $1,000. The Windows RT tablets should be priced far below that point.